The Report Card • Wednesday, March 29, 2023
Welcome to Week 12 of The Report Card, Strong Schools Maryland’s 2023 Session Newsletter.
The Budget Conference Committee of the General Assembly is finalizing the budget for Fiscal Year 2024. Maryland deserves the Best Budget for public schools – this includes matching or exceeding the House of Delegates' recommendation for $900 million in Public Education funding and supporting Governor Moore's phase out of the BOOST voucher program by not spending an additional $2 million in public dollars on private schools.
⏱️ LEGISLATIVE MINUTE
This week, we're highlighting awesome Maryland legislators Senator Melony Griffith and Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk.
Senator Melony Griffith (Dist. 25), joined the Maryland Senate in 2019, and has served on the Education, Business & Administration subcommittee of the Budget & Taxation committee since then, in addition to being named the chair of the Senate Finance Committee this year. Sen. Griffith has been a fighter for public education since she first joined the General Assembly as a delegate in 1999. Sen. Griffith serves constituents in Prince George's County.
Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk (Dist. 21) serves as the chair of the Health and Government Operations Committee, and has been a member of the House of Delegates since 2007. She has championed public education and has been a member of the Education Committee since 2017. Del. Peña-Melnyk represents constituents in parts of Anne Arundel and Prince George's Counties.
📅 This week, Strong Schools Maryland is providing testimony for the following bills as they have their hearings in the opposite chamber of the General Assembly.
🎙️ Strong Schools Maryland will provide written and oral support for Del. Palakovich Carr's HB 191, which repeals a Trump-era tax break and ensures that corporations are paying their fair share.
📝 We'll also provide written testimony for HB 375 which will help coaches identify indicators of stress and mental health for student athletes.
📝 Also in the senate, we'll provide testimony for HB 878, which ensures that students can attend telehealth appointments at school during the school day.
📝 In the House, we're providing written testimony for SB 551 (Governor Moore's SERVE Act)
📝 We're also supporting SB 266, which will add a counselor to the Maryland Consortium on Coordinated Community Supports.
📝 SB 559, a bill which appropriates more money for school breakfast programs across Maryland will also receive written testimony from us.
📝 Finally (for today) we'll provide written testimony in support with amendments for SB 913, which we want to see restored to its original, unaltered version.
All of the bills above will be heard today at 1:00pm
📆 Tomorrow (Thursday, March 30), at 1:00pm, we'll be providing written testimony in support of HB 1196, Delegate Stephanie Smith's bill which will adjust the education funding formula for Blueprint implementation.
🏿🏻 GET INVOLVED
📅 Drop-In Opportunities
APR 1 @ 10AM: Take a deep dive into the Blueprint with our Blueprint Certified Advocate Training. REGISTER HERE
APR 3 @ 10AM and 4PM: Hop on zoom with our Local Organizer, Maya, to prepare testimony for upcoming bill hearings. She'll provide guidance and talking points for Team Leaders and Team Members who want to testify in front of the General Assembly. RSVP
🥳 Upcoming Events
Outcome Measures Workshop – Workshop and provide feedback on outcomes and measurement of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future. RSVP as soon as possible on Eventbrite. Here are the dates of each workshop and what they will focus on:
5/4 - Pillars 1 and 2 targets
5/18 - Pillars 2 and 3 targets
6/1 - Pillars 3 and 4 targets
If you can't make it to the workshops or just have a lot to say on how the Blueprint is measured, you can also provide feedback here: https://forms.gle/Qy8iQWXmnSX5tbXq6
AIB Meetings – The AIB will not meet this week.
🪧 Start or Join a Team of 10
In 2020, people like you stood up, spoke out, and passed the Blueprint for Maryland's Future.
In 2023, we want you to help us make sure that Maryland lawmakers #KeepThePromise of World Class Schools: Sign up here to start or join a Team of 10 in your county – we're going to need all the help we can get.
Always keep an 👁️ on this space for more opportunities to meet us at the statehouse.
That's it for Week 12, join us again next Wednesday for The Report Card, and please forward this to a friend, neighbor, or co-worker who wants to get the latest on the Blueprint in their inbox.
For the Future, Strong Schools Maryland